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Accepting Influence: Find Common Ground

Accepting Influence: Find Common Ground


The idea of Accepting Influence is to help partners find those parts of their partner’s position that they can understand and agree with. For conflicts that are not gridlocked conflicts, this acceptance of influence involves people learning that sharing or relinquishing influence is an asset to the relationship.


Yield To Win:


Gottman’s research revealed that one does not win an argument by countering everything their partner says. If you are a brick wall, things will only escalate. In fact, what you have to do to win is to get your partner to start saying yes, and the only way to do that is to yield to those parts of your partner’s point of view and argument that seem reasonable to you. What happens then—when you start yielding—is that the issue starts to become something that both of you are working on together.


Below is a useful checklist to help you review your work with this intervention as well as to help you improve your skills in the Gottman Method.


  1. Stop the interaction when one or more partners are not accepting influence.
  2. Highlight why accepting influence is critical to the relationship. This includes finding a way to understand and honor some aspect of their partner’s position, with a focus on yielding and accepting influence rather than on persuading.
  3. Re-direct the discussion